Veterinary Dentistry & Dental Surgery
Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a critically important part of your dog or cat's oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At our Douglasville veterinary hospital, we are proud to be able to provide dental care for your pet, from basics like dental exams and teeth cleanings to dental X-rays and surgical procedures.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Douglasville
We know it can be a daunting experience finding out that your pet requires dental surgery. We do our best to ensure that your pet's dental surgery process is as stress-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
Kay Animal Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a veterinary dental checkup:
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will take some blood and urine samples for analysis to make sure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia for their treatment. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line) and x-rays are taken. We then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The last step of the process is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from building up on your pet's enamel. If we find advanced periodontal disease, our vets will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, we will speak with you about brushing your pet's teeth at home. We will also recommend products that will help to improve the oral health and general well-being of your pet.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pet dental care from our clients.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior may be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop grooming sufficiently.
Some other signs of oral health issues can include bad breath, tooth discoloration, and swollen gums. Some dogs and cats may even suffer from pain that stops them from eating altogether. Read more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Besides causing problems ranging from cavities and bad breath to severe periodontal disease, oral health issues and conditions can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors may develop. Your pet may also not feel well in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can affect your mood!). In addition, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause significant pain.
This is why regular cat and dog dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet's teeth cleaning appointment?
During your pet's routine oral exam, our vets will check their mouth for any signs or symptoms of oral health conditions that may require treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, special care will be needed post-surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, you should brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Don't allow your companion to chew on things that could damage their teeth like hard plastic toys, bones, or other objects. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health, always contact your vet.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to dental procedures by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Douglasville vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to x-ray their mouth as needed.
We're Always Welcoming New Patients
At Kay Animal Hospital, we can't wait to welcome you and your four-legged friend into our veterinary family. Learn more about the services we offer and the difference our care and compassion make by booking your first appointment today!